“What do you mean, a hole?” Thon stumbled but caught himself, struggling to keep up with his longer-legged sibling on the steep grassy slope.
Dahlia slowed to a trot and then stopped to look back. “A hole. Or a window, or something.”
Thon caught up to her and stomped his front hoof. “You’re not making sense. The sky is empty. You can’t have a hole in something that isn’t there.”
Dahlia twitched her whiskers imperiously. “You’ll see when we get there.”
Thon’s ears flattened in annoyance. Everyone thought he couldn’t understand things because he was too young, but how could he when nobody would explain anything?
“I’m not going all the way up the hill if you won’t say what you mean.”
Dahlia continued up the slope, tossing her next words over her shoulder at him. “Well go back then, if you’re going to be such a kitten.”
Thon scrambled up the slope, grumbling to himself. He was not a kitten. He was almost ten years old, which she knew perfectly well. It wasn’t his fault his legs were so short.
Angrily crashing through a clump of poufy-flowered grasses, Thon was rewarded with a spray of pink pollen in his face. Thon sneezed and shook himself. He frowned and looked around in time to see Dahlia disappearing behind a stand of aspen trees.
With a mischievous grin, Thon bent down to grab the base of one of the grasses in his mouth, and yanked it out of the ground. He continued up towards the grove, holding his head high to keep his prize from dragging on the ground. The fluffy flower would lose some of its pollen on the way, but there should be enough left to make pelting Dahlia with it worthwhile.
When Thon passed the grove, he found Dahlia standing on a rock at the top of the hill. She stared quizzically at the sky.
“See?” she said.
Thon didn’t see. It looked perfectly normal. Except for one patch where the sky was a slightly different shade of blue, and the clouds didn’t match up. It was like looking at a wall painted to look like the sky, but there was a window you could see the actual sky through. Only they were both the real sky.
“That’s weird,” Thon said. Or at any rate, that’s what he would have said if his mouth wasn’t full of plant material.
Dahlia turned to look at him, to make sense of his garbled statement. Thon was about to pounce and attack her with the flower when a roar split the sky. It was the loudest sound either of them had ever heard.
Thon ducked his head down between his front legs to block his ears, but that didn’t do much good. It just kept going on and on, like an angry waterfall.
The two creatures ran for cover in the trees. They didn’t notice the small, bird-like object crossing the odd-looking patch of sky. If they had, they couldn’t have imagined the chaos going on above.
In the cockpit of the Boeing 787, the pilots were struggling to understand why they had made landfall several hours ahead of schedule, and why the coastline looked nothing like they had come to expect after several years of flying the route from Houston to Sydney. What was worse, they had completely lost all GPS navigation, and could not raise anyone on radio.
To the great relief of everyone involved, after about five minutes the 787 found itself flying over the Pacific Ocean once again, and the sky above the hill where Thon and Dahlia hid amongst the trees was once again quiet.
Thon turned to Dahlia. “I think you made it mad.”